Category Archives: The Environment

(Video)Federal Debt Commission Proposes Gas Tax Hike

The President’s debt commission is proposing an additional tax that would raise the price another 15 cents. In this economy drivers are hurting, but as Bill Whitaker, so are the roads. Watch this video to learn about the choices facing Congress regarding the national debt. (12/2/10 CBSNewsOnline)

1. What according to the video is the transportation challenge facing the nation? What are the three choices available to deal with this challenge?

2.  What is the effect of driving less on transportation funding? Why the short fall in the gas tax revenue?


Tea Party Groups Doubt Global Warming

Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement. Is climate change real or a myth? Do political parties differ in their opinion on global warming? This article sheds light on the controversy surrounding global warming. (10/20/10 New York Times, John M. Broder) … Read Article

1. Why does Mr. Young the Indiana Republican nominee for Congress oppose cap and trade, the Obama administration’s policy to combat global warming?

2. What is the stance of FreedomWorks on climate change?

(Poll)Polisci Students’ Opinion on Disaster Preparedness

In one of our recent polls, we asked MPSL students if the nation today is better prepared to handle a disaster similar to Hurricane Katrina. The result: about 7% of the students responding said they strongly agree that the nation is better prepared; about 41% agree; about 40% said they disagree; while about 13% strongly disagree. In a similar nationwide poll by CBS News, 34% of Americans think the federal government is adequately prepared to deal with another Hurricane similar to Katrina; 59% think  the federal government is not adequately prepared; while 7% is unsure.

Five years after Hurricane Katrina most Americans say the nation is not better prepared for natural disaster. What do you think?

New Orleans: Five Years After Hurricane Katrina

It is now five years since Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans and while the city is in some senses still rebuilding, for tourists it is stronger than ever. What does post-Katrina New Orleans look like? What has changed and what remains the same? (8/28/10 ABC News, Scott Mayerowitz) … Read Article

1. What impact did Katrina have on the tourism industry in New Orleans?

2. How has Katrina affected the population of New Orleans?

(Video)Hope Rises Along the Gulf Coast

BP hopes to keep using its giant cork to block oil from reaching the Gulf of Mexico until they plug the blown out well permanently. As AP’s Haven Daley reports, business owners and visitors are starting to get their lives back to normal. (7/18/10 The Associated Press)

1. Discuss the immediate effect of the new cap on the oil well on businesses and tourists in the Gulf Coast.

2. Discuss BP’s effort to plug the blown out well permanently.

Plastic Bag Tax: Another Sin Tax?

Who knew the lightweight disposable sacks, which millions of shoppers use every day to lug home groceries and take-out, could help states bring in much needed revenue. (7/4/10 ABC News, Alissa Figueroa) … Read Article

1. “…the more significant result … is that plastic bag use decreased sevenfold in the city after… implementation” of the tax. Discuss the potential unintended consequence of the plastic bag tax reflected in this statement.

2. A plastic bag tax versus a plastic bag ban. Discuss the implications of these two different policies.

July 4 and the Oil Spill: Pondering the American Spirit

For the United States, big dreams and the confidence they inspire have always produced big deeds — the creation of a new nation, the taming of a wild frontier, the building of an industrial giant and the ascent of a superpower. The question now is, does this “American spirit” still exist in the face of the oil spill disaster? (7/4/10 Associated Press, Peter Prengaman) … Read Article

1. Discuss the concept of “the American DNA” as evoked in the article.

2. Frustrated Americans are quick to assign specific blame to both BP and the federal government. Discuss how Americans assign the blame.